Our neighbours to the south are trying to change the rules for their airspace. They are trying to get permission to fly drones anywhere they like. Apparently drones can currently only be flown in limited military areas.
A cynic could find several comfortless implications in this new direction.
- Perhaps the Department of Defense doesn’t think the F35 will actually fly, and needs drones as a backup plan for shooting down hijacked airplanes.
- Perhaps the DOD simply wants to use these cheaper, less-risky planes instead of piloted ones. Remember Kenneth R Israel’s law: People don’t mind losing unmanned aircraft.
- Perhaps the USA needs drones for surveillance now, and later, for crowd control.
- If drones can keep out illegal immigrants, their usefulness in other countries could make them attractive, and sell-able. Israel could use them to patrol border areas and sea lanes. Somali pirates might find themselves under attack. Perhaps the Iranian threat to close the straits of Hormuz could be monitored – or is it already?
Exactly how drones will co-exist in high density domestic flight paths remains to be seen. Since drones are remotely piloted, their pilots will not be at risk, but the general travelling public might think it is going to be.
I wonder if Stephen Harper will put in an order for a few of these. I wonder if they will be allowed to fly over Canada. I have a bad memory that US cruise missiles were tested in Canada, it being safer (for whom?) to do it here.
What to do? Write your congressman?